The art awards scheme for offenders, secure patients and detainees

We’re the UK’s best-known prison arts charity. We’ve been awarding, exhibiting and selling artworks by offenders, detainees and secure patients for over 55 years.

Our awards receive over 7,000 entries a year – inspiring offenders to take part in the arts, work towards positive achievements and transform their lives. Our national exhibition attracts 20,000 visitors – showing the public the talent and potential of offenders and people in secure settings.

We have no endowment or capital – our work depends entirely on donations.

Read more about us

Discombobulated, Heatherwood Court Hospital, Mixed Media, 2016

2017 Awards

The deadline for the 2017 Koestler Awards was 14 April.

The 2017 Awards include 51 categories judged by experts including Bob and Roberta Smith, Emma Bridgewater, Philharmonia Chorus and Hot Chip. The Awards are now closed for entries, and the judging process is underway. If you are Under 18 you can still take part at any point in the year through our Fast Feedback Programme.

What happens next?

We publish a list of Award-winners at the end of August and all certificates and Awards prizes will be mailed by the end of October. We will return visual entries not selected for exhibition from November 2017.

Find out more about this year’s exhibitions here.

> download the 2017 Koestler Awards Entry Form
> download the 2017 Guidance Notes

If you’d like to receive the 2018 entry packs (released in December 2017) please contact us on

Discombobulated, Heatherwood Court Hospital, Mixed Media, 2016

Discombobulated, Heatherwood Court Hospital, Mixed Media, 2016